Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Cleaning with a Purpose #DonateStuffCreateJobs



Over the past several years, most of us have had a family member, friend, acquaintance struggle in this economy.  Either they have lost a job or struggled to find employment. And if not someone you know personally, really, all you have to do is turn on the TV or pull up social media to see the struggle. It is real.

Goodwill’s career centers, training programs and staffing operations give people the resources, skills and confidence that changes thousands of lives each year.
So how can you help to be a part of this growth and effort in your own community? It’s easy! Donate to Goodwill = create jobs!

Thanks to the programs and support services made possible by donations of clothes and household items, Goodwill helped place more than 312,000 people in jobs in the United States and Canada in 2015 – that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day.  
Why do I donate? Because what I may not want or have use for may be perfect for someone else! If we have perfectly good items that can be loved by someone else, why not help our community? If you are not sure where your local Goodwill is, you can use the Goodwill Locator App available for Android and iOS devices and at http://www.goodwill.org/ (click “Explore Our Map” on the homepage). Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, résumé preparation, financial planning classes, and other services you’ve helped provide people facing challenges finding employment. When jobs thrive, communities thrive.



Last year, nearly 2 million people engaged in face-to-face Goodwill services to advance in their careers. More than 35 million people accessed education, training, mentoring and online learning tools offered by Goodwill virtually to strengthen their skills and gain industry-recognized credentials.
We have done our part! Now it is time for you to do yours! Tag us on your social media posts with a photo of your Goodwill donations using #DonateStuffCreateJobs.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In Perfect Harmony #Free on Amazon




Erin Conway swore off men completely after her last boyfriend left her to raise a child alone.

Ravi Dawes is a musician running from the grief that nearly destroyed him.

When the two meet on an internet dating site, sparks fly and they both believe they've found the perfect match. Unfortunately, Erin’s influential family doesn’t approve of Ravi or his career. And Ravi knows his shady past could destroy their relationship before it begins.

Can two people whose lives are marred by sorrow and regret find healing in each other’s arms? Or will the past sour their perfect harmony?



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Child and Tween Car Safety #KidsBuckleUp

My oldest daughter just got her permit, so I've been thinking about vehicle safety more then after. Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.


That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.


As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound.  This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues.  First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”

 When my teen daughter starts driving her siblings around, I want to be certain she understands the importance of booster seats and seat belts.






The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.  But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat.  For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.

And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world.  To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13). My kids love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Watching the PSAs together is a great way to remind them to buckle up safely, just like some of their favorite characters.





Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash.  Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”


For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp.  If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rawley Collection Release

Website slide show- Rawleys (3)

  From USA Today Bestselling Author Olivia Hardin, for the first time ever, three Rawley Family Romances plus a bonus short all in one collection... and it's just 99cents for a short time! Start the continuing saga of love, life, family & friends... All for Hope Sometimes the safest distance between two hearts is no distance at all... Kidnapping a baby wasn’t something Hope ever dreamed she would do. But she’s been burned by the legal system before, so when the court places her friend’s child into the custody of an abuser, she takes matters into her own hands. She steals the baby and fakes her death, hoping to make a clean getaway. She planned every detail, except one. Her high school sweetheart and best friend, who left her years before, sees her at a gas station. Hope thinks all is lost, until he offers to help them. Brennan had always been the love of Hope’s life, but he never wanted to be. She knows she cannot depend on him for long. However, as each day passes, it becomes painfully obvious that she is in way over her head. She goes with him, intending to keep him always an arm’s length away to protect her heart. But being on the run together sparks the old flames that once burned between Brennan and Hope. Families, friends, and lovers must band together to save an innocent baby and a daring woman or both of their lives will be destroyed. Together, they'll do it all for Hope. Justice for All Kay Rawley has plans. She might be the second child of an earl, but she wants a life away from her father’s estate in New Durma. She wants a life apart from her family’s name. Becoming a lawyer was a bright, shiny object she just couldn’t resist grabbing. Her classes are complete, and all she has to do is pass the bar to get permanent employment at the Dallas law firm where she’s been interning for the past year. Kay's been on Audrick Van Buren's radar since the day she walked into his classroom two years ago. That admiration only grew when she came to work for his firm. But if there's anything he recognizes, it's a woman who's driven--and Kay is definitely one. It's all he can do to keep his distance and allow her the chance to come into her own. What Van doesn't know is that someone else is watching Kay, too, and if he doesn't step between them, that person might not only derail her career but threaten her very life. Things aren’t always what they seem, and Kay’s about to learn that the best laid plans are so much better when they go astray... All for Family Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Rawley family, but gearing up for Van and Kay’s nuptials revives old insecurities for Kay’s sister-in-law Meg. When she learns that her ex-husband is asking for her from his hospital bed, Meg must confront the painful memories of her past. Family is everything for Jeremy Rawley. Most important is the one he and Meg created together. But their beginning was tangled in memories he wishes his wife could forget for good. A call from her past brings them back to a place he thought they’d never have to be again. Forgiveness may be the key, but the first step is finding the locked heart that needs it... Plus, get All for a Little Christmas Former police officer Robert Guillory's life has changed since he arrested Hope Rawley for kidnapping. Only his closest friends knows about his last case before leaving the force. Eva Lipton is one of those close friends, but she's been trying to get even closer ever since his retirement. When the chance to work with him on a church theft drops into her lap, she doesn't hesitate to call on him. Can a little holiday miracle give Eva the Christmas gift she's been hoping for?

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About the Author

olivia hardin pic b&w.jpg When Olivia Hardin began having strange movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long the writing bug had her and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, and she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again. Olivia’s attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term road scholar and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She's also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny and their puppy, Bonnie. Get a free gift just for signing up for Olivia's Newsletter! Follow Olivia: Newsletter/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Website Amazon/BookBub
And if you love her books, join Team OH!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Why I’m Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance



Since April is World Autism Month, I’ve decided to #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. This is an issue that has touched the hearts of many people I care about. It’s highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.


Autism refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.


Autism’s most obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Autism Speaks encourages parents with concerns to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes.



The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is about more than awareness -- it is about increasing understanding and acceptance of autism.  This includes advocacy and support for people across the entire spectrum throughout their lives. It also includes advancing research into personalized treatments for autism and related conditions.  I encourage you test your understanding of autism by taking this quiz!


Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include GI disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.

You can help make a difference too by taking the Light It Up Blue Quiz to see how much you know about autism. If you’re moved to do so after visiting AutismSpeaks.org, please show your support for and understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with autism by sharing a photo to #LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month too. Also, check out Autism Speaks’ nationwide calendar of autism-friendly friendly events and activities in April.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Spotlight: Bully

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Bully is a fast paced legal thriller where "The L Word" meets "Kramer vs Kramer." Bully begins in the 1980s when courts routinely stripped LGBT parents of their parental rights solely because they were gay. Bully then shifts to the 2000s to explore a typical lesbian relationship wherein Lisa meets Windy and they quickly fall for each other, despite Lisa’s plans for a baby. Although Lisa and Windy never marry, when Lisa breaks it off because Windy reveals herself to be a deadbeat, Windy files for custody of Lisa’s daughter to fatal effect… Bully explores the legal and emotional issues faced by single parents in the LGBT community and leaves readers asking the question: what rights do parents really have? It has been said, “In a world without law, you have chaos, oppression and tyranny and everyone doing what is right in their own eyes.” Bully is that story.
Bully

Buy on Amazon or read for free with Kindle Unlimited

Emme Dun has been a lawyer for 23 years working in both the private and public sectors including clerking for a trial court judge. While in law school, Emme served as the president of the LGBT student group and had her student note published in the law journal. Bully is her first novel.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stag Hunt is #Free on Amazon




In ancient Britannia, the warrior who brought down the king stag was named the defender of the land.

Eartha’s brother Balen has been in love with Princess Galiene since they were children. Upon the death of the High King, the tribesmen of the realm vie for the throne, and with it, the hand of the fair princess.

Balen is desperate to win his lady, but a rival tribesman is equally determined to keep them apart.

With her brother, her dearest friend, and the country she loves all hanging in the balance, Eartha must do the unthinkable to ensure her brother’s victory in the stag hunt. Sometimes true love needs a helping hand...or some blood to be spilled.